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      Cycle-Characteristic Odour of Cow Urine Can Be Detected by the Female Face Fly ( Musca autumnalis)

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          Due to declining dairy cow fertility rates, there is great interest in developing tools for oestrus detection. Compounds in the volatile profile of oestrous cows are suggested as oestrus-specific, but consistent results have not been presented. Certain haematophagous arthropods can discriminate stages of the mammalian reproductive cycle based on host volatiles. This study investigated whether the face fly, Musca autumnalis de Geer (Diptera: Muscidae), can discriminate between urine from cows in oestrus and urine collected during the luteal phase. Individual flies were tested in a two-choice behavioural assay with choice between odour of oestrous or luteal urine and water (control). Flies chose the control arm significantly more when exposed to oestrous urine than when exposed to luteal urine. Analysis of volatiles showed that 1-hexadecanol (cetyl alcohol) was released in greater amounts from oestrous urine than from urine collected during the luteal phase. In a dose response assay, flies were significantly attracted by 0.01 ng of 1-hexadecanol but significantly repelled by 0.1 ng, a pattern consistent with fly responses to urine. In conclusion, M. autumnalis can discriminate between oestrous and luteal urine, and this may be mediated by differences in 1-hexadecanol concentration.

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          Most cited references 36

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          Visual and olfactory responses of haematophagous Diptera to host stimuli.

          Key biotic and environmental constraints on the host-orientated behaviour of haematophagous Diptera are summarized. For each major group of biting Diptera, responses to host stimuli are reviewed, including activation and ranging behaviour, long-range and short-range olfactory responses and visual responses. Limitations to the comparison of results between groups of species, and the practical problems of experimental method and equipment are discussed.
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            From pheromones to behavior.

            In recent years, considerable progress has been achieved in the comprehension of the profound effects of pheromones on reproductive physiology and behavior. Pheromones have been classified as molecules released by individuals and responsible for the elicitation of specific behavioral expressions in members of the same species. These signaling molecules, often chemically unrelated, are contained in body fluids like urine, sweat, specialized exocrine glands, and mucous secretions of genitals. The standard view of pheromone sensing was based on the assumption that most mammals have two separated olfactory systems with different functional roles: the main olfactory system for recognizing conventional odorant molecules and the vomeronasal system specifically dedicated to the detection of pheromones. However, recent studies have reexamined this traditional interpretation showing that both the main olfactory and the vomeronasal systems are actively involved in pheromonal communication. The current knowledge on the behavioral, physiological, and molecular aspects of pheromone detection in mammals is discussed in this review.
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              Pheromones': a new term for a class of biologically active substances.

               P KARLSON,  M LUSCHER (1959)

                Author and article information

                Reprod Domest Anim
                Reprod. Domest. Anim
                Reproduction in Domestic Animals = Zuchthygiene
                BlackWell Publishing Ltd (Oxford, UK )
                December 2014
                22 September 2014
                : 49
                : 6
                : 903-908
                [1 ]Department of Clinical Sciences, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala, Sweden
                [2 ]Department of Entomology, University of California Riverside, CA, USA
                [3 ]Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences Uppsala, Sweden
                Author notes
                Author's address (for correspondence): Robert Glinwood, Department of Crop Production Ecology, PO Box 7043, SE-750 07 Uppsala, Sweden. E-mail: robert.glinwood@
                © 2014 The Authors. Reproduction in Domestic Animals Published by Blackwell Verlag GmbH

                This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

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                Animal science & Zoology


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